VAT Explained


Value Added Tax (VAT) Explained

If you are disabled or chronically sick you do not have to pay Value-Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services that are designed / or adapted for personal use. These goods and services are often called ‘zero-rated’ or ‘eligible for VAT relief’.

To have purchases classed as  zero-rated, the following conditions must be met:

  • the customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate.
  • the goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer.
  • the goods and services are eligible.

This definition does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

 HMRC has identified you are chronically sick or disabled if you have:

  • A physical or mental condition which has a long term and substantial adverse effect on your ability to carry out everyday activities
  • a condition that a doctor treats as a chronic sickness

What is a chronic sickness?

This is a health problem that needs to be managed over a long time possibly years  

 Examples include:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular (e.g. Hypertension, Angina)
  • Chronic Respiratory (e.g. Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD))
  • Chronic Neurological (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Chronic Pain (e.g. Arthritis)
  • Other Long-term Conditions (e.g. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Cancer) etc. 

You do not need to contact HMRC’s  to ask them if you are eligible  and their advisers cannot tell you whether you are disabled or chronically sick. This is something you need to determine for yourself.  If you’re not sure whether this applies to you, you may wish to talk with your doctor or other medical adviser. A form can be downloaded for completion

IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR VAT EXEMPTION RELIEF the full current VAT rate (20%) will be added to the complete orde